SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) – Illinois Republican Mark Kirk won’t be seated in the U.S. Senate in time for the start of the lame duck session of Congress this month – unlike two other newly elected senators.

The session begins Nov. 15. But state officials say the paperwork officially declaring Kirk the winner of the Senate race won’t be delivered until Nov. 29.

That should still allow Kirk to participate in two weeks of the session in December. He argued strongly during the campaign that voters needed to send him to the Senate quickly so he could help block spending and tax increases.

Two Democrats are expected to be sworn in at the start of the lame duck session. Chris Coons of Delaware will fill the remainder of Vice President Joe Biden’s term, and Joe Manchin of West Virginia replaces the late Robert Byrd.

© 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.